The NFL’s trade season began in earnest Thursday night when the Carolina Panthers dealt RB Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers. While one of the biggest names rumored to be available in the build-up to the Nov. 1 trade deadline, McCaffrey is far from the only player who will be moved before that deadline is reached.
The 33rd Team’s scouting department identified a collection of the biggest names on either side of the ball that could be made available. Providing the analysis for these players is former NFL executive Mike Tannenbaum.
Jerry Jeudy, Wide Receiver, Denver Broncos
With top-target Courtland Sutton and downfield-burner K.J. Hamler on the roster, Jeudy becomes expendable for the Broncos. A young, former first-rounder who’s a great route runner, Jeudy would command a significant market, as he is in just his third season in the NFL after being the 15th overall pick in 2020. While the skills were there coming out of Alabama, the production hasn’t been in Denver: He has only 107 receptions for 1,613 yards and five touchdowns through 32 games, and dealt with an injury last year.
Kareem Hunt, Running Back, Cleveland Browns
Hunt is an effective receiver out of the backfield who has already requested a trade. He was the league’s rushing champion as a rookie in 2017, but after splitting work with Nick Chubb in Cleveland over the past few seasons, he is the clear No. 2 this year. Chubb has 117 touches to Hunt’s 75, and last week received 13 looks compared to Hunt’s four. Hunt no doubt wants a larger opportunity to work as a team’s featured back. Don’t overlook D’Ernest Johnson, either. He has shown flashes of ability in the past filling in for Chubb and Hunt but is buried behind that pair and rookie Jerome Ford in Cleveland.
Brandin Cooks, Wide Receiver, Houston Texans
Houston is clearly in a rebuild, so most names are available. While having a veteran with Cooks’ production is an asset for second-year quarterback Davis Mills, Cooks is also a journeyman who has been dealt before (three times actually), and can be a productive target for a team in need of a receiver. He has gone over 1,000 yards in six of the last seven seasons, playing for four different teams.
Antonio Gibson, Running Back, Washington Commanders
Brian Robinson’s return to full health and his taking on the lead role in the team’s backfield committee has made Gibson expendable. The injury to Carson Wentz didn’t help, either. The Commanders should consider stockpiling draft picks for the future, and Gibson could net them something as a dual-threat back with two years of starting experience, including his first 1,000-yard season last year.
Robert Quinn, Defensive End, Chicago Bears
Quinn is a productive, veteran pass rusher with more than 100 career sacks. He set a Bears record with 18.5 sacks last season, earning second-team All-Pro recognition. He only has one sack through six games this season, but his past production makes him a target for teams in need of a pass-rush boost. He’s expendable for the Bears, who are in Year 1 of a rebuild with a new head coach and general manager.
Grady Jarrett, Defensive Lineman, Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons are still a team trying to build and acquire pieces for their future. Given their surprising success, I don’t think trading Jarrett is likely, unless a team absolutely blows the Falcons away with an offer. Many teams would like to have him in the middle of their defensive line, though.
Roquan Smith, Linebacker, Chicago Bears
Smith and the Bears had a contentious training camp because of his contract, to the point that the linebacker even requested a trade. He’s been stellar this season, leading the NFL with 66 tackles, and Chicago might want to cut its losses and maximize Smith’s value before the trade deadline. Teams should be very interested, as Smith is young and has great range and playmaking ability.
Jadeveon Clowney, Defensive End, Cleveland Browns
Cleveland has been disappointing as it waits for Deshaun Watson’s reinstatement, and may be open to trading at the deadline. While Clowney has never lived up to his potential in the NFL, he is still an effective pass rusher and can be a big addition for a contender in need of one. He almost set a new career-high with nine sacks in only 14 games for the Browns last season, and has 1.5 sacks in three games in 2022.
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